Watch Caps back in stock – in navy and cream

Friday, January 25th 2019
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I'm pleased to say the Permanent Style watch caps are finally available again - on the shop site - after some delays.

There are two colours: a slightly darker navy than last time, which I feel is more sartorial and suited to tailoring; and a cream to replace the grey, so those that ordered both last time have one new option

The nice thing about cream, for me, is its versatility.

Just like cream trousers, a cream hat goes with every other colour, from smart greys and navy to casual browns and greens.

I'm wearing it here with my Armoury x Real McCoy's horsehide jacket, but it looks equally good with my navy Cifonelli overcoat, for example.

It's also quite a de-saturated cream, almost off-white, which I find makes it feel a little more casual and not as luxe.

For those not familiar with the story, this hat re-creates the design of a pair I bought at a small shop in Naples years ago.

They're smaller than other cashmere beanies, which means they can sit higher on the head and look smarter as a result.

Personally I find most cashmere hats like this are too big, covering the whole head from neck to eyebrows. That's warmer, but looks very casual and ill-suited to tailoring.

These, by contrast, look great with a sharp overcoat - which is particularly useful for those that don't like wearing brimmed hats or a flat cap.

So while the hats are made for us by Johnston's in Scotland, the shape and make is unique. (For all those readers asking about alternatives recently.)

Among the make points are tighter knitting and flatter pressing, both of which emphasise the clean look.

You can read the full back story on the original launch post here.

The style is one I shamelessly stole from certain Japanese gentlemen, but found hard to replicate with any other hats. Hence the spur for the collaboration.

The look means wearing the hat low on the front of the head, but then almost horizontal to the back. It's something you see more with wool hats from workwear brands - hence the watch-cap reference.

You can, of course, wear it any way you want though.

Jamie (Ferguson, photographer) wears his PS Watch Cap pushed way back on the head (below).

I find this too casual for what I wear, and seems to really emphasise my baldness for some reason - not a problem Jamie has.

Interestingly, though, Jamie also says he finds most hats too big, and ill-suited to wearing in this style as well.

Another small design aspect of the hats is that we fold them up, twice, and sew them down in this position. It replicates something I did by hand with my original pair.

The hats cost £65 (ex-VAT) and are available on the shop site now - shipping immediately.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson (and me, of Jamie)

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Hi Simon, great news the hats being back in stock. Will order the cream asap. Furthermore, what do you think about olive green as a third/fourth option, should one already have the other two options offered here previously?



Wondering if you could put up some long shots of you wearing the gray sweater with the brown square scarf and cream cap? I’m struggling a little to see how the cream cap looks with the full outfit since you only have close-ups for that.

I bought the navy cap last year and have come to find it very useful, but not always ideal to wear with my navy peacoat casually when everything matches too much. I’m not sure the cream though is going to work and it might be a bit too striking as compared to last years’ gray. The long shot photo might help reassure me somewhat.



I suppose this is only tangentially related to the topic of the post… However, it seems to me that there is a huge gap in the market in London in the absence of a good-quality multi-brand store. NYC has the armoury, NMWA, Bergdorf, Barneys to name a few. The only store which jumps to mind in London is Trunk (please, please tell me if I’m missing something). The continent has a wide array of small boutiques selling good-quality clothing (your city guides are a testament to this).

Why then does London, which has huge superstores such as Selfridges and Harrods lack in clothing beyond the usual boring gucci, purple label, tom ford etc type brands?


Hi Nick,

Fenwick in London has a good range (Ring jacket and Frank Clegg amongst the highlights) and seems to go under the radar.


Richard Gelding is a store I walked into by accident noticing the Carmina shoes in the window a couple of weeks ago and I have to say I was surprised at how good the selection of brands was – they’re actually much more than just a Canali Suits stockist which is what they sell themselves as. They were, funnily enough, the only place in London that I’ve seen Frank Clegg bags. Although the service was a bit rustic.

I’d actually disagree with Simon about why London is not such a big market though – I think its because we have such a strong menswear tradition of our own rather than because of Russian or Asian buyers. Carmina, for example, is a pretty easy sell in New York – because its great quality for its price point. But in London, you’ve got to persuade people its better than Crockett & Jones or Church’s – which are a lot more famous and despite the latter largely playing on historic reputation there are a lot of people who would (rightly or wrongly) rather pay for manufacture in their own country. Same applies to tailoring. A lot of people will stubbornly stick to Savile Row on principle over the Italian tailors rather than making the decision for more rational factors of style and cut. If anything I think Russian or Arab buyers might be more amenable to those Carminas…


What ply of cashmere?


So 6 ply by conventional parlance? Curious why you don’t actively market this fact?


Thanks for this Simon – quick question: from where is the grey wool jumper in the first three and last photos? Looks like a classic Scottish lambswool but would love to know the maker.



the whole point of a warm hat in the cold weather is to cover the ears. I suppose the pictures look pretty though


Definitely makes it a “city” hat though. You can’t go for a windy walk along Dorset coast with nothing over ears this time of ear.

Generally fair to say, i think, Simon that you are an urban dresser with metropolitan salutes to rural style / practicality?

Generally the finess of urban clothes over rural probably comes down to 2 things, wealth and practicality!


Living in Canada, I was a bit wary this cap would be useful. And it isn’t during most of the winter.

But I’ve found it actually is quite a useful accessory for the transitional seasons or warm winter days. Days when I’d perhaps reach for a flat cap to keep my head a little warmer for comfort, but when it isn’t cold enough to need ear covering. This cap has given me an alternative to going to a hat, and added some variety to the wardrobe.

For us who get cold winters, I think we need to recalibrate the use of this cap–it isn’t for what we consider cold weather, but rather for cooler weather.


Good quality watch-cap style but prefer the cuff-less beanie. Really not sold on cream though, something not quite right about it (a bit feminine as beanies have a workwear/military influence, neither of which would ever use cream…). Prefer to see olive, grey, black, burgundy, camel, red and orange (for casual style)…Here is a link to the history of said cap. Interestingly it is usually worn in one of two ways, pushed back at an angle or straight with the cuff above the ears.


Hi Simon, wondering if you think these would fit well on people with a head size on the smaller side, mine are about 54cm circumference



What trousers (brown/tan) are you wearing in the photo for this article on the main page (not in the article page)?



As you know, I bought the cream watch cap, have you considered doing them in Camel, toffee and black?


Hi Simon,
if I understand correctly, the beanie is “double”. I mean there are 2 layers of cashmere at the top and 4 layers of cashmere at the bottom (over the ears). Correct?


Hi Simon,
Is this hat suited for all face types? I have a long and narrow face with a round head, something little unsual i would say.



When will gray color be available?


Hi Simon – wasn’t sure where to ask this – but it relates to wearing hats generally. There are of course benefits of warmth and practicality (for example, I have quite long hair for a man, and wind is a real killer – especially if both hands are carrying things and cant be used to smooth down a wayward mop!), but from a style point of view – are there any guiding principles of what hats to wear with what? Or maybe not principles as such, but how you might approach deciding on utilising a hat with a particular outfit?

I have a couple of watch caps (lovely hats, btw – and fairly easy to wear with casual outfits) but currently feel fully out of my depth about anything else.


Hello Simon,
Really happy with my watch cap. Beautifully made, and this shade of cream is spot on.


I agree with Daniel. I was dubious about the cream, as I thought it might be too showy, but decided to take a punt on it. I love the colour. Too often, creams are too yellow for my liking, but this is perfect. I wish I could find some knitwear in the same shade!


I just received a Watch Cap in cream, and I’m finding that I can barely get it to fit over my head, let alone cover the tips of my ears, as you manage in the photos. Is the cap designed to be let out slightly by undoing the stitching? I normally wear a 59cm hat, which I would think is average. I realize the other problem is that my hair is currently not short, and may be causing trouble for the “mission” of the cap. I would be sad to have to return it, but perhaps your design suits only a particular application in this case. That, or my bonce is simply ill-suited.


That’s right, I’ve been trying to fit it in that horizontal manner, which would mean a bit more forehead coverage. Let me have another go today and will report back.


I think the yarn just needed a little initial stretching. Seems pretty close now. Thank you.